Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU Raises $1.5M Seed Funding at $250M Valuation — from edtechreview.in ed by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Genius Group has recently announced that its EdTech arm, GeniusU Ltd, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support the development of its Genius Metaversity virtual learning plans.

With the fresh funding, GeniusU plans to extend its courses and programs to interactive learning environments in the metaverse, with students and faculty connecting and learning in global classrooms and virtual 3D environments. It also plans to integrate each student’s AI-based virtual assistant ‘Genie’ into the metaverse as 3D virtual assistants that accompany each student on their personalized journey and integrate its GEMs (Genius Education Merits) student credits into the metaverse. GEMs are earned by students as they learn and can be spent on products and services within GeniusU and counting towards their certifications.

 

Five steps to getting higher ROI on your learning content — from chieflearningofficer.com by Anindita Gupta

Excerpt:

Both scenarios point toward the fact that organizations are investing a disproportionate amount of time and money on their star content while the supporting content assets are left languishing.  In the long run, this skewed handling makes it extremely difficult for L&D teams to manage and maintain not just their content but also their budget. They could do better, be leaner, get more out of their investments, and experience smarter if they did just one thing differently.
.

Live learning modules are only the tip of the iceberg of what is involved in creating them

 

Also relevant/see:

Addendum on 5/16/22:

 

100 Universities established an OPM, Bootcamp or Pathways partnership in Q1 2022 — from holoniq.com
Bootcamps are directing more resources B2B and B2G, OPMs are growing existing partnerships further and evolving their technology and healthcare programs.

Excerpt:

Higher Education, like the broader economy, is awkwardly emerging from an almost exclusively digital, isolated and stimulus fuelled environment into… well it’s not clear yet. University Partnerships continued to be established at pace through Q1 2022, albeit at a much slower rate than through 2021.



Also relevant/see:

College contracts with OPMs need better oversight, watchdog says — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt from Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Education should strengthen oversight of colleges’ relationships with companies that help them launch and build online programs, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an auditing agency for Congress.

Addendum on 5/11/22:


 

China is about to regulate AI—and the world is watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

Some provisions aim to address complaints about online services. Under the rules, for instance, companies will be prohibited from using personal characteristics to offer users different prices for a product; they also will be required to notify users, and allow them to opt out, when algorithms are used to make recommendations.

Companies that violate the rules could face fines, be barred from enrolling new users, have their business licenses pulled, or see their websites or apps shut down.

Some elements of the new regulations may prove difficult or impossible to enforce. It can be technically challenging to police the behavior of an algorithm that is continually changing due to new input, for instance.

 

A Turning Point for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
With reinstatement of Pell Grants imminent, the programs weigh technology’s long-term role.

Excerpts:

Incarcerated people who participate in postsecondary-education programs are 48 percent less likely to return to prison, according to a 2018 study from the RAND Corporation.

Three colleges that The Chronicle spoke with are in varying stages of adding technology to their prison-ed programs.

Addendum on 5/11/22:

It was a proud, and somewhat routine commencement ceremony for Calvin University on Monday, May 9, though held in the confines of a state prison.

Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary joined the Michigan Department of Corrections Monday to host the graduation ceremony for Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) students at the state’s Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia.

Addendums on 5/16/22:

 

Coursera launches skills training academy for colleges and companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Experts say the move could help the company strengthen its focus on selling courses to colleges rather than consumers.

Excerpts:

Coursera, like other popular MOOC platforms, has made its name by bringing online classes to the masses. But lately, the company has been expanding efforts to provide these offerings to colleges and employers rather than solely to consumers.

The company doubled down on that strategy Wednesday, when it announced the launch of a career training academy that enables users to earn entry-level certificates from companies like Meta and IBM in fields such as data analytics, social media marketing and user experience design. Institutions — including colleges, businesses and government organizations — can sign up to make the platform available to their students or employees.

The move signals a shift in strategy for the company. While Coursera is still focused on delivering courses directly to consumers, it’s also been building out its offerings to colleges and employers. This business segment includes Coursera for Campus, which allows colleges to use the platform’s content in their classes. 


From DSC:
For those who think MOOCs have come and gone:

Coursera has been using academic content created by universities for years to build its audience, amassing some 97 million users by the end of last year, according to its latest earnings report. 


Addendum on 5/11/22:

 

We need to use more tools — that go beyond screen sharing — where we can collaborate regardless of where we’re at. [Christian]

From DSC:
Seeing the functionality in Freehand — it makes me once again think that we need to use more tools where faculty/staff/students can collaborate with each other REGARDLESS of where they’re coming in to partake in a learning experience (i.e., remotely or physically/locally). This is also true for trainers and employees, teachers and students, as well as in virtual tutoring types of situations. We need tools that offer functionalities that go beyond screen sharing in order to collaborate, design, present, discuss, and create things.  (more…)

 

The Future Trends Forum Topics page — from forum.futureofeducation.us by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

The Future Trends Forum has explored higher education in depth and breadth. Over six years of regular live conversations we have addressed many aspects of academia.

On this page you’ll find a list of our topics.  Consider it a kind of table of contents, or, better yet, an index to the Forum’s themes.

Also see:

Since we launched in early February, 2016, the Forum has successfully published three hundred videos to YouTube.  Week after week, month by month, over more than six years we’ve held great conversations, then shared them with the world, free of charge.

 
 

Global Pandemics is a cutting-edge, browser-based, digital learning experience—designed to enhance student understanding of the role of pandemics in world history.

Global Pandemics — from historyadventures.co with thanks to Andrea Boros for the resource

Excerpts:

Global Pandemics is “a cutting-edge, browser-based, digital learning experience—designed to enhance student understanding of the role of pandemics in world history. One year in the making, and involving a talented, interdisciplinary team from around the world—the new product features cutting-edge digital learning design, web animation, interaction design, and digital storytelling.”

This browser-based digital learning experience introduces multiple novel technologies, including:

  • 3D Motion Design to Recreate History
  • Advanced Web Animation to Simulate Pathogens
  • Immersive 360 Panoramas of Historical Locations
  • Animated Historical Timeline & Maps
  • Choice-based Narrative Design
  • Interactive Original Historical Documents
  • Media-Rich Adaptive Assessments

Also see:

 

Homeschool math doesn’t have to be intimidating! — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Finding The Right Math Program For Your Child
There are so many choices on the market. Some with manipulatives, some with thick workbooks, some on online learning platforms.

While it may seem overwhelming, its actually good news! You don’t have to worry about all of them – you only have to find the one that works for you!

That’s exactly what’s happened for my family this year with CTCMath.

CTCMath is an online program developed by a father of ten children, with twenty years teaching experience. It is a subscription math service that provides learning from Kindergarten all the way through Calculus. CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning.

 

 

The number one thing we’ve loved most about CTCMath this year is that it teaches math in short, bite sized amounts.

I LOVE the shorter lessons approach. Not only is it the best way to teach children with attention issues, but it also makes it easy for parents who struggle with math themselves!

Colleen Kessler

 

The Future of ID in an AI World — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Markus Bernhardt and Clark Quinn

Excerpt:

Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are promising great things for learning. The potential here is impressive, but there also exist many questions and insecurities around deploying AI technology for learning: What can AI do? Where is it best utilized? What are the limits? And particularly: What does that leave for the instructional designer and other human roles in learning, such as coaching and training?

We want to suggest that these developments are for the benefit of everyone—from organizational development strategy devised in the C-suite, via content creation/curation by instructional designers, right through to the learners, as well as coaches and trainers who work with the learners.

 

 

Technology Trends for 2022 — from oreilly.com
What O’Reilly Learning Platform Usage Tells Us About Where the Industry Is Headed

Excerpt:

It’s been a year since our last report on the O’Reilly learning platform. Last year we cautioned against a “horse race” view of technology. That caution is worth remembering: focus on the horse race and the flashy news and you’ll miss the real stories. While new technologies may appear on the scene suddenly, the long, slow process of making things that work rarely attracts as much attention. We start with an explosion of fantastic achievements that seem like science fiction—imagine, GPT-3 can write stories!—but that burst of activity is followed by the process of putting that science fiction into production, of turning it into real products that work reliably, consistently, and fairly. AI is making that transition now; we can see it in our data. But what other transitions are in progress? What developments represent new ways of thinking, and what do those ways of thinking mean? What are the bigger changes shaping the future of software development and software architecture? This report is about those transitions.

O’Reilly Answers
We’re very excited about O’Reilly Answers, the newest product on the platform. Answers is an intelligent search that takes users directly to relevant content, whether that’s a paragraph from a book, a snippet of a video, or a block of code that answers a question. Rather than searching for an appropriate book or video and skimming through it, you can ask a specific question like “How do you flatten a list of lists in Python?” (a question I’ve asked several times). 

Also see:


Also see:


 

Now we just need a “Likewise TV” for learning-related resources! [Christian]

Likewise TV Brings Curation to Streaming — from lifewire.com by Cesar Aroldo-Cadenas
And it’s available on iOS, Android, and some smart TVs

All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

Entertainment startup Likewise has launched a new recommendations hub that pulls from all the different streaming platforms to give you personalized picks.

Likewise TV is a streaming hub powered by machine learning, people from the Likewise community, and other streaming services. The service aims to do away with mindlessly scrolling through a menu, looking for something to watch, or jumping from one app to another by providing a single location for recommendations.

Note that Likewise TV is purely an aggregator.


Also see:

Likewise TV -- All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

 


From DSC:
Now we need this type of AI-based recommendation engine, aggregator, and service for learning-related resources!

I realize that we have a long ways to go here — as a friend/former colleague of mine just reminded me that these recommendation engines often miss the mark. I’m just hoping that a recommendation engine like this could ingest our cloud-based learner profiles and our current goals and then present some promising learning-related possibilities for us. Especially if the following graphic is or will be the case in the future:


Learning from the living class room


Also relevant/see:

From DSC:
Some interesting/noteworthy features:

  • “The 32- inch display has Wi-Fi capabilities to supports multiple streaming services, can stream smartphone content, and comes with a removable SlimFit Cam.”
  • The M8 has Wi-Fi connectivity for its native streaming apps so you won’t have to connect to a computer to watch something on Netflix. And its Far Field Voice mic can be used w/ the Always On feature to control devices like Amazon Alexa with your voice, even if the monitor is off.
  • “You can also connect devices to the monitor via the SmartThings Hub, which can be tracked with the official SmartThings app.”

I wonder how what we call the TV (or television) will continue to morph in the future.


Addendum on 3/31/22 from DSC:
Perhaps people will co-create their learning playlists…as is now possible with Spotify’s “Blend” feature:

Today’s Blend update allows you to share your personal Spotify playlists with your entire group chat—up to 10 users. You can manually invite these friends and family members to join you from in the app, then Spotify will create a playlist for you all to listen to using a mixture of everyone’s music preferences. Spotify will also create a special share card that everyone in the group can use to save and share the created playlist in the future.


 

Reflections on “Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?” [Bohnke]

From DSC:
Christin Bohnke raises a great and timely question out at edsurge.com in her article entitled:
Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?

Christin does a wonderful job of addressing the possibilities — but also the challenges — of using blockchain for educational/learning-related applications. She makes a great point that the time to look at this carefully is now:

Yet as much as unchangeable education records offer new chances, they also create new challenges. Setting personal and academic information in stone may actually counter the mission of education to help people evolve over time. The time to assess the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology is right now, before adoption in schools and universities is widespread.

As Christin mentions, blockchain technology can be used to store more than formal certification data. It could also store such informal certification data such as “research experience, individual projects and skills, mentoring or online learning.”

The keeping of extensive records via blockchain certainly raises numerous questions. Below are a few that come to my mind:

  • Will this type of record-keeping help or hurt in terms of career development and moving to a different job?
  • Will — or should — CMS/LMS vendors enable this type of feature/service in their products?
  • Should credentials from the following sources be considered relevant?
    • Microlearning-based streams of content
    • Data from open courseware/courses
    • Learning that we do via our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and social networks
    • Learning that we get from alternatives such as bootcamps, coding schools, etc.
  • Will the keeping of records impact the enjoyment of learning — or vice versa? Or will it depend upon the person?
  • Will there be more choice, more control — or less so?
  • To what (granular) level of competency-based education should we go? Or from project-based learning?
  • Could instructional designers access learners’ profiles to provide more personalized learning experiences?
  • …and I’m certain there are more questions than these.

All that said…

To me, the answers to these questions — and likely other questions as well — lie in:

  1. Giving a person a chance to learn, practice, and then demonstrate the required skills (regardless of the data the potential employer has access to)
    .
  2. Giving each user the right to own their own data — and to release it as they see fit. Each person should have the capability of managing their own information/data without having to have the skills of a software engineer or a database administrator. When something is written to a blockchain, there would be a field for who owns — and can administer — the data.

In the case of finding a good fit/job, a person could use a standardized interface to generate a URL that is sent out to a potential employer. That URL would be good for X days. The URL gives the potential employer the right to access whatever data has been made available to them. It could be full access, in which case the employer is able to run their own queries/searches on the data. Or the learner could restrict the potential employer’s reach to a more limited subset of data.

Visually, speaking:


Each learner can say who can access what data from their learner's profile


I still have a lot more thinking to do about this, but that’s where I’m at as of today. Have a good one all!


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian